NEW YORK — Six years ago, a 39-year-old architect named Robert Woo was working on the Goldman Sachs Tower in Lower Manhattan when a crane’s nylon sling snapped, dropping seven tons of metal studs onto his construction trailer. He survived, but he was paralyzed from the waist down. He never expected to walk again.
Last week, physical therapists at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan helped Woo into a robotic exoskeleton. He braced himself for a moment with crutches. Then he stood up and strode out of the room, his carbon-fiber leg joints whirring with each step. “My kids call me Iron Man,” Woo told me with a grin. “They say, ‘Daddy, can you fly too?’ ”
He can’t. But don’t rule out the possibility.